Comedy for a good cause at Herberger Theater

(Nicole Neri/DD)

The Herberger Theater Center hopes to convert laughter into some serious financing for local theater programs with its third annual Stand Up for Downtown Theater event on Friday night.

The funding from this event will go to the Herberger’s Multicultural Theater Camp which provides a free theater camp to teenagers from group homes, shelters and treatment facilities, as well as The Wolf Trap Program which brings artists to school districts that lack art funding.

Lauren King is the chair of the Herberger Theater’s Youth Leadership Board and has been working to help ensure Stand Up for Downtown Theater is a success.

“Our goal is to bring a younger demographic to the theater while also raising critical funds for our outreach efforts that help build and maintain a thriving local arts community downtown,” King said.

Stand Up for Downtown Theater is broken down into three parts, with the first being a cocktail hour and silent auction that starts at 7 p.m. The auction features content from local companies such as The Velo Bike Shop, Bunky Boutique, Outrageous Homebrewer’s Social Outpost, SunUp Breweries and several local wineries. Attendees can look to walk away with anything from a bike to a sampling of local beers.

The show itself begins at 8 p.m. with four comedians taking the stage. The show’s headliner is Craig Phillip Conant, a Los Angeles-based comedian who has performed all over the country and has made appearances on Comedy Central and MTV. The show also features Arizona natives Ryan Paul Johnson, Amy Blackwell and Shapel Lacey.

Johnson is a native real estate agent by day and stand-up comedian by night. Blackwell brings experience in the stand-up field. Lacey has performed in Literally the Worst Show Ever. Dan Thomson and Matt Storrs, both comedians themselves, will be hosting the event.

The evening will be finalized with an after party at Gracie’s Tax Bar on Seventh Avenue. Gracie’s opened earlier this summer and King was excited about its inclusion in the evening’s activities.

“We see this as an opportunity to create exposure for some local spots that make downtown such a cool place to live,” King said.

King describes the event to have a laid back vibe and emphasizes the importance of a more young adult audience.

“We’ve actually lowered our ticket prices this year to try to encourage more students to check it out,” she said.

Stand Up for Phoenix Theater has doors opening at 6:30 p.m. at the Herberger Theater Center on Friday with tickets available for purchase online or at the box office for $35. Ticketing and additional information can be found at here

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